Daughter Settles Lawsuit Against Clinic Involved In Joan Rivers' Death

By R. Siva Kumar - 14 May '16 09:17AM

Finally, Melissa Rivers has settled a lawsuit against the clinic at Yorkville Endoscopy on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where her mother Joan died.

"We finally have what we were looking for...answers," Melissa tells PEOPLE . "We wanted to unearth what happened and now I can look my son in the eye and tell him exactly that - and that someone's taking responsibility for it. It's started a conversation that was necessary and we hope that this will instigate policy change so that fewer people have to suffer these devastating but avoidable circumstances."

Joan Rivers had been undergoing throat surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy Center in August 2014. One week later, she died on Sept. 4 when she was 81 years old in a New York hospital. According to her lawsuit, the doctors had performed surgery on her beyond what she had consented when she was sedated. She failed to realise that she was losing oxygen till it was too late.

Last year, January, Melissa filed the suit against the clinic, recalling that it was "one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make." She alleged that "doctors performed unauthorized medical procedures, snapped a selfie with the comedian and failed to act as her vital signs deteriorated."

Just a few days before she settled the lawsuit, the 48-year-old Melissa voiced her thoughts about moving forward after the mother's death.

"I'm not quite in the healing phase," she said.

"I think it's coming. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel," she continued, "but I am not quite there yet."

Finally, a spokesman for the clinic, Yorkville Endoscopy, said that both sides have agreed to settle the case so that they can avoid long drawn-out litigation.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Rivers family," the clinic said. "We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate healthcare services that meet the needs of our patients, their families, and the community.",

The settlement enables Melissa Rivers to "put the legal aspects of my mother's death behind me and ensure that those culpable for her death have accepted responsibility for their actions quickly and without equivocation," she said.

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